The Valley of the Tools Episode 37

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Rob becomes very competitive when Whitney puts on a contest to see who can earn the most money for Stone Productions through Cameo. Bonnie grows frustrated when she finds out there’s a lot of overlap between her OnlyFans viewers and her Twitch channel viewers. Miles has to figure out how to shoot a documentary without the risk of transmitting or receiving COVID-19.

THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“DEATH UNDER THE REPUBLICANS”

 

TV-MA

 

“But greed is a bottomless pit. And our freedom's a joke, we're just taking a piss. And the whole world must watch the sad comic display. If you're still free start running away, ‘cause we're coming for you!”

  • Conor Oberst

 

(We open on a shot of Rob brushing his teeth in the mirror one morning. Imogen walks in, wearing pajamas)

 

IMOGEN: Up and at’ em, soldier!

 

(Imogen slaps Rob’s ass as she walks into the closet. Rob smiles and regards her. He spits his toothpaste out and turns on the faucet)

 

ROB: Don’t tell me your commanding officer did that to you.

 

IMOGEN: (OS) I’m not allowed to talk about that. (Rob laughs as he turns off the faucet. Imogen walks over and gives Rob a kiss) Hey, so, you hear about that Hulu show, “Love in the Time of Corona”?

 

ROB: Yeah, I think its like, 1,139th on my list of shows to watch, why?

 

IMOGEN: Well. They’re already casting for a possible second season, and I’m gonna have a Zoom audition on Thursday.

 

ROB: Wow. That’s awesome, finally, an acting role for you!

 

IMOGEN: Finally?

 

ROB: No, I mean, like, since corona has shut down production, it’s nice to actually have a shot at a role.

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, for sure. (Imogen grabs a brush and starts brushing her hair, as Rob sits on the bathroom counter) But, the second season might not even happen, they’re trying to feel it out.

 

ROB: Yeah, worst case scenario, the pandemic ends and the show isn’t relevant anymore.

 

IMOGEN: God forbid.

 

ROB: Good luck. And if you don’t get it, there are always other ways to make money.

 

(Rob turns to the mirror and starts inspecting his face)

 

IMOGEN: I’m gonna keep acting, Rob, this isn’t the end-all, be-all.

 

ROB: Of course not- do you think my wrinkles have cleared up since I stopped smoking?

 

(Imogen looks over at him)

 

IMOGEN: No, I mean, you haven’t stopped aging the last few months. Simply not inhaling noxious chemicals into your lungs isn’t a fountain of youth, believe it or not.

 

(Imogen finishes brushing her hair and goes for the door)

 

ROB: Thanks for the encouragement.

 

IMOGEN: Do ten wall-sits and I’ll compliment you, alright, soldier?

 

(Imogen leaves the bathroom. Cut to Rob walking into his home office with a cup of coffee. He settles in front of the computer. He goes to YouTube and checks in on his video- “Rob Altmire has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about CA-25!!!” which features a pair of boobs in a black tank top as the thumbnail. He clicks on it and pauses the video right away. He looks at the view count- 47,000. Rob scowls at this number)

 

ROB: What the fuck.

 

(Rob goes to upload a new image for the thumbnail. He opens up his saved pictures and is about to select a pair of bare breasts but exits out before taking the plunge. Rob goes to Deadline.com and sees the headline “Comedian Nick Kroll Nabs a Brand New Porsche In Biggest Industry News in Months”. Rob goes to the search feature and puts in “Robert Altmire”. He finds a couple old articles, one from March 4, 2020 reading “Robert Altmire Concedes After Losing Miserably to Christy Smith in CA-25 Race”, another one says “Stone Productions Makes Deal with Tingua de Wanmei For Bad Alien Movie” from November 2019,  an article from October 2019 reading “Rob Altmire’s Run For CA-25 Attracts Mockery”, an article from August 2019 reading “Rob Altmire Promotes Susan B. Trippin’ on Colbert, Sucks at it”. Rob grows angrier and angrier as he scrolls past these articles. He sees an article from May 2019 featuring a courtroom drawing of him and the headline “Rob Altmire Can’t Even Help Being a Jackass During His Half-Nephew’s Murder Trial” and finally, an article from February 2019 reading “Robert Altmire is Still Alone Because He’s a Creepy Little Bitch; Report”. Rob bangs his fist on the desk. Rob gets a discord message, and he goes to it. It’s from Whitney, it reads “joining us?” Rob frantically clicks the Zoom link above and is admitted into the Zoom meeting, which features the usual suspects, plus Miles)

 

WHITNEY: Okay, Rob’s here.

 

ROB: Sorry, I was, stewing over negative press coverage about me. I mean. I was masturbating. Yeah, I’ll go with that.

 

WHITNEY: Great, well. You don’t need an excuse.

 

LUTHER: But keep ‘em comin’, because so far they’re really convincing.

 

WHITNEY: Alright guys, let’s focus up. We need to talk about the dire financial straits here at Stone Productions. Evelyn, care to illustrate our trajectory since March?

 

EVELYN: Gladly. (Evelyn takes out a white board, and draws a straight line going downward) From my evaluation of our financial situation, this is the most succinct manner in which I would illustrate our situation.

 

MCKENZIE: Can you put a smiley face and a frowny face at the top and bottom, just so Rob doesn’t get confused?

 

EVELYN: Sure. (Evelyn draws a straight face at both ends of the chart) Hope that clears it up.

 

LUTHER: Babe, that’s how you express happiness and sadness, not how we do.

 

(Evelyn puts the white board away)

 

EVELYN: You understand, though.

 

WHITNEY: I do appreciate how everyone is taking a certain percentage of your salary and re-investing it into the company-

 

MCKENZIE: I had to cancel all my streaming services, Kevin and I have to watch our favorite shows on YouTube, sped up and with the frame crooked.

 

WHTINEY: And we appreciate it. But there’s a new way for you guys to earn money for the company. My friend Cassidy sent me this video-

 

ROB: You have friends outside the office? Or is Cassidy the receptionist whose name I can never remember?

 

WHITNEY: ANYWAY, Cassidy sent me this video.

 

(Whitney screen-shares, showing a video of Malcolm McDowell in his home office, recording a personalized video for Whitney)

 

MALCOLM MCDOWELL: (British accent) Hello, Whitney! Malcolm McDowell here. Your old droog Cassidy told me that you were feeling rather down-in-the-dumps, so I thought I might try to cheer you up. Sometimes, you gotta be (singing) “Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again” … and maybe you’ll start to feel that way, too. Have some drencrum and relax. Cassidy looks forward to seeing you at reception as soon as everything calms down. Good day.

 

(The video ends. Whitney end screen-share)

 

ROB: SO, SHE IS THE RECEPTIONIST!
 

WHITNEY: YEAH, OKAY?! SHE IS!

 

ROB: I KNEW IT! I didn’t realize Malcolm McDowell was in Singin’ in The Rain, by the way.

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

WHITNEY: The point is, Cassidy paid Malcolm McDowell a hundred bucks to make a video for me, through a service called Cameo. Countless washed up, Z-list celebs use this to earn money on the side, especially during this pandemic. I figure, we’re nothing if not replete with washed-up B-listers, let’s have ourselves a contest! Whoever earns the most money for the company through Cameo by the end of the week, wins!

 

MCKENZIE: Wins what?

 

WHITNEY: …Is winning not enough of an incentive?

 

MCKENZIE: No, it’s not.

 

LUTHER: What about us? Rob and McKenzie are technically notable, but Evelyn and I aren’t, my biggest credit is “middle-class black dad in Brinks Home Security ad”.

 

WHITNEY: Well, first off, Miles is allowed to participate too if he wants.

 

MILES: Fuck yeah, I will.

 

WHITNEY: But if you really want to participate, then you should sign someone and have them participate. That’ll count as your contribution.

 

ROB: Yeah, Luther, we made you Head of Talent Management for a reason. So far, you’ve only signed a TikTok e-cig reviewer and that guy on YouTube who farts the birthday song.

 

LUTHER: It’s not just the birthday song- he has a set list of other songs, okay? Don’t box him in- anyway, fine, I’ll sign someone.

 

WHITNEY: Great. Any other complaints?

 

ROB: Not from me, I think this’ll be super fun.

 

MCKENZIE: I still think the stakes could be higher.

 

WHITNEY: Jesus, fine! Whoever wins becomes partner.

 

MCKENZIE: WHAT?!

 

LUTHER: Holy shit! That was a major fucking escalation!

 

ROB: I HAVE TO GO!
 

(Rob leaves the meeting immediately, as does everybody except Evelyn, Alec and Noel)

 

WHITNEY: What- guys! Come on! We have scripts to talk about!!

 

(Cut to Rob rushing out of his room, and into the living room. Imogen is in there, on her iPad. He’s holding his laptop and frantically typing as he sits next to her)

 

ROB: Imogen, if I win this contest Whitney’s gonna make me partner again!

 

IMOGEN: Wow. What’s the contest?

 

ROB: You know Cameo?

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, I’ve heard of it. D-list celebs make videos for opioid money.

 

ROB: I’m gonna sign up, and see how much money I can make for Stone Productions. What price should I set per video?

 

IMOGEN: I don’t know, 150?

 

ROB: Thousand? Nah, seems too steep.

 

IMOGEN: What? No, not 150,000-

 

ROB: Let’s do $2,500.

 

(Rob types that in)

 

IMOGEN: What?! Rob, no one is going to pay that much for a video from you, I’m sorry!
 

ROB: You should be! I’m in a much higher tier than some of these jokers- Craig Kilborn for $900? Motherfucker hosted The Daily Show 20 years ago and he thinks he’s worth almost a thousand dollars?

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, I bet he doesn’t get very many cameo requests! My point exactly!

 

ROB: And look, who’s this? Snoop Dogg for $750?!

 

IMOGEN: Snoop Dogg is extremely famous-

 

ROB: Anyone who rapped a verse on Corey Feldman’s last album is no longer famous, okay?! Compromise, now it’s $2,000. Set. (Rob sits back) Now we wait. (Imogen sighs and goes back to her iPad. Rob stares forward. He taps his foot and grinds his teeth. He picks up his laptop) So, does it notify me, or-?

 

IMOGEN: You have to temper your expectations, it’s been five seconds.

 

(Cut to an Instagram live stream featuring Bonnie Backlash in her car. She pulls off her mask)

 

BONNIE: So, I was just at the Best Buy in Glendale and I saw some an employee speaking with a customer, dude had a lot more down here- (Bonnie pats her stomach) then up here- (Bonnie traces her hairline with her finger) and the dumbass PULLS DOWN HIS MASK to talk to me, and I tell him, “bitch, if you don’t pull up that mask in the next five seconds, I’ll make sure “five seconds” become your life expectancy. It’s like- how do you think the virus spreads, motherfucker?! Certainly not through your dick, because the we’d all be safe, it’s through YOUR MOUTH, YOU DUMB BITCH!

 

(The livestream is showered with likes, hearts, thumbs-ups and positive comments. Cut to Bonnie walking into her house’s foyer. She walks into her bedroom, opens up her computer and jumps on Twitch. Cut to Bonnie wearing gaming headphones and streaming on Twitch, playing Grand Theft Auto V, as Michael DeSanta, a grizzled, middle-aged gangster running through the streets of Los Santos. A flurry of (mostly sexual) comments pop up as she plays)

 

BONNIE: Okay, so we gotta steal a car so we can go case a Jewelry store we’re finna rob.

 

(Michael runs up to a red sedan and throws out the driver)

 

DRIVER: What are you doing?!

 

MICHAEL: Sorry about that!

 

BONNIE: The fuck you think I’m doing, bitch, I’m not taking you out for ice cream. (Michael starts driving away) Okay, before we go to the Jewelry Store, we might as well run over some hookers, let me see if I can find some. (People start spamming “TAKE YOUR TOP OFF” and “DO YOUR SIGNATURE MOAN” and “SHOW ME THAT WAP GIRL” in the comments) Yeah, bitch, I’ll show you a WAP, I’ll shove your stupid ass back into your mom’s wet-ass pussy and try to undo your birth, how the fuck does that sound?! Any porn talk is an auto-block, you dumb cunts.

 

(Bonnie starts manually blocking people. Cut to Bonnie on a Zoom call with her publicist Lou Pearle, a short man in his mid-50s, with black glasses and a bald head)

 

LOU: So, I spoke with Jeff, and he came up with the perfect logo for your Twitch channel.

 

BONNIE: Alright, let’s see it.

 

(Lou screen-shares a logo concept, featuring “BONNIE BACKLASH GAMING” written out in purple bubble writing, with a cartoon version of Bonnie popping out of the “O” in Bonnie, with enormous, barely obscured breasts, flowing blonde hair and a video game controller, along with a cutesy expression. Her elbows are resting on her breasts. Bonnie is dumbstruck)

 

LOU: …Well?

 

BONNIE: What the fuck is this.

 

LOU: …I think it’s true to your brand-

 

BONNIE: Are my elbows resting on my tits? What the fuck do I have, giant tumors?! This Twitch shit is SEPARATE from my porn career, dumb shit!

 

LOU: I know, Bonnie, but people watch you BECAUSE of your porn career, so I think it’s smart to lean into that.

 

BONNIE: And I think it’s smart to drown you in the L.A. River, that doesn’t mean I do it!

 

LOU: Well, hold on, now-

 

BONNIE: You know what, Lou? You clearly think of me purely as a porn star, but that’s not all I am.

 

LOU: I know, Bonnie, trust me on that-

 

BONNIE: I think of you as more than a publicist, Lou, I also think of you as a divorced dad and a recovering alcoholic, so why don’t you put on your 3D glasses and see beyond the tits and ass, huh!?

 

LOU: Bonnie, please, just listen-

 

BONNIE: I won’t be needing your services any longer. Go spend more time with your kids, they could use it.

 

LOU: BONNIE-

 

(Bonnie ends the Zoom meeting. She sits back in her computer chair and takes a deep breath. Bonnie’s phone starts blowing up, but she puts it on silent and throws it aside. Cut to Luther sitting in his living room, scrolling through Cameo. Evelyn walks into the living room)

 

EVELYN: I would like to find a way to activate the sprinklers manually, to keep those young children from hocking their cookies at our door, can you help me?

 

LUTHER: Nah, babe, this is an apartment complex, we don’t control the sprinklers, plus, I’m looking through Cameo for a celebrity B-list enough to actually sign with us. I mean, potentially it could be any of these fools, but who can I live with trying to sign?

 

EVELYN: Instagram influencer Bryce Hall might need representation, after the city shut off his power for holding too many parties.

 

LUTHER: Again, I need to live with myself.

 

EVELYN: One of our clients is a man who sings through his ass.

 

LUTHER: That’s hard! Have you ever tried it?!

 

(Evelyn walks over and sits next to Luther)

 

EVELYN: Perhaps you should think, WWTGSKD?

 

LUTHER: WW what?

 

EVELYN: What Would The Golden State Killer Do?

 

(Luther’s jaw drops and eyes widen)

 

LUTHER: What are you talking about-

 

EVELYN: He would go after an easy target. Here.

 

(Evelyn grabs Luther’s laptop and goes to Twitch.tv. She looks up “Bonnie Backlash” and finds her live-streaming GTA V on mute and hands the laptop back)

 

LUTHER: What?! Whitney cut Bonnie loose after Ricky got her written off Susan B. Trippin’, that’s not an easy sell!

 

EVELYN: Bonnie chose to walk away. She probably regrets it now. Now that we’re in an economic depression, she will probably find familiar territory even more inviting. Stone Productions is comfortable, like a good bowl of soylent, or curling up with a James Joyce novel.

 

LUTHER: ...Hmmm…

 

(Luther unmutes Bonnie’s stream. She’s playing the “Trevor” character, a meth-head tweaker, and she’s in a shoot-out with a biker gang)

 

BONNIE: Alright, I think I’ve wiped out enough of these junkies to move forward- (Trevor runs forward, but a biker jumps out and shoots him dead. Bonnie slams the desk) GODDAMNIT!!!! (Bonnie clocks the comments section- which is just an endless parade of “MOVE THE CAMERA DOWN” and “HOLY SHIT IS THIS THE BONNIE BACKLASH FROM PORNHUB”) OH YEAH, I’LL MOVE THE CAMERA DOWN! SURE! (Bonnie moves the camera down toward her left hand, which is flipping the camera off) IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED, YOU BASEMENT-DWELLING LITTLE BITCH!?

 

(Luther mutes)

 

LUTHER: …She could clearly benefit from an image overhaul.

 

EVELYN: Yes, I would say so.

 

(Cut to a shot of a record player skipping over and over again- repeating a single part of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” song, in Miles’ run-down living room, with avocado green shag carpeting and peeling and disjointed wallpaper. We pan over to Miles, who is lying down on a shitty couch, covered in holes, patches and full springs protruding from it. Miles is throwing a red ball against the ceiling over and over again. After a couple catches, the ball bounces off his forehead and he springs up, surprised)

 

MILES: Fuck. (Miles walks over to the record player, which is still skipping on “Fly Me to The Moon”. He takes the stylus off the record and puts it aside. He walks into his similarly run-down and unclean kitchen- complete with a sink full of dishes, surrounded by flies, trash lining the counters and an overflowing trash can. Miles opens the fridge and sees several half-gallons of milk, some very clearly expired. Miles grabs one of the fresher looking ones and peeps the date. It’s August 7th, 2020. Miles shrugs, opens the cap and is about to take a sip, but then his phone rings. His ringtone is “Mama Mia, Here We Go Again” by ABBA. He puts the milk back and checks his phone. It’s Whitney. He answers) Whitney, is that you?

 

(Cut to Whitney sitting in her home office. Intercut between them)

 

WHITNEY: No, Miles, Whitney’s been kidnapped, we demand fifteen thousand dollars, or she gets it.

 

MILES: I would call somebody closer to her then, maybe her parents. Although I think they’re poor white trash, so maybe not-

 

WHITNEY: Miles, it’s me.

 

MILES: …I knew that.

 

WHITNEY: …I forgot to mention this in the meeting, but we need a documentary we can sell to distributors, so we can have more cash flow and keep ourselves above water.

 

MILES: Then you’re in luck! I have a background in documentaries, in fact, my documentary “Bombers, Belly-Dancers and Sheikhs; Everything You Know About the Middle East is Right” won “Most Backwards” at the 2003 Aluminum Jaguar Awards.

 

WHITNEY: Well. You know. Maybe think a bit bigger than that, huh? By bigger, I mean, less offensive. And as a reach goal- not offensive at all! Look, we’re doing this because documentaries are inexpensive, but we’re gonna need a documentary that’s safe to film in a pandemic. Figure out how to achieve that balance and get back to me.

 

MILES: Yes, ma’am.

 

WHITNEY: Hit up Evelyn, she knows what kind of money we’ll be able to get for a given project.

 

MILES: Do you have her number?

 

WHITNEY: You’ve worked with us for two years, do you really not have- whatever, I’ll send it to you. Christ.

 

(Whitney hangs up. Miles stuffs his phone back in his pocket. Cut to Evelyn walking down the outdoor stairs of her apartment complex with a cigarette in her mouth. A girl scout of about seven, wearing a face mask, walks up to her)

 

GIRL SCOUT: Hi, ma’am, can I interest you in a-

 

EVELYN: Leave me be, young child. (Evelyn walks past her and lights her cigarette. The little girl walks away sadly. Evelyn gets a call, and she answers) Hello?

 

(Cut to Evelyn, in a face mask, opening up the front door of her apartment, and welcoming Miles in. He’s also wearing a face mask and holding a professional camera)

 

MILES: Thank you.

 

EVELYN: You’re welcome, make yourself at my home. That is, act as you would if you were in someone’s else’s home, which you are.

 

MILES: Where’s Luther?

 

EVELYN: He’s scouting talent, right now. I don’t mean picking up sex workers, by the way.

 

MILES: Oh, okay, good.

 

EVELYN: Would you like any water?

 

(Miles walks over to the window, gets down on his knee and feels the carpet)

 

MILES: This is where it happened, huh?

 

EVELYN: That is where what happened?

 

MILES: This is where Ashton Delay was murdered.

 

EVELYN: Yes, he expired approximately where you’re standing.

 

(Miles stands up and turns to Evelyn)

 

MILES: Trust me, I know a shit ton about expiration, he didn’t expire, he was murdered.

 

EVELYN: I’m not disputing the fact that he was murdered. Also, what do you mean “you know expiration”?

 

MILES: Why don’t we make a documentary about this? Interview some people, use the same High School photos of the victim over and over again, easy!

 

EVELYN: We could try. The only problem I foresee is, if we imply Ryan Donahue was involved, we might get into legal trouble.

 

MILES: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Come on. Let’s shoot some test footage.

 

(Cut to Evelyn sitting on her balcony, with a lit cigarette in hand and an ashtray in front of her on a footstool. Miles is sitting across from her, with his camera on a tripod, pointing directly at her. Evelyn pulls her mask down and takes a puff)

 

EVELYN: Are we recording?

 

MILES: Yes. I really like this aesthetic so far, it’s like you’re really stressed and reluctant to talk about it. Play that up.

 

EVELYN: Okay.

 

MILES: Alright, go. (Beat) When did you first develop and interest in the Delay case?

 

(Evelyn takes a drag and blows smoke)

 

EVELYN: To be honest with you, Miles, I am very stressed and reluctant to talk about this.

 

MILES: Okay, cut.

 

EVELYN: What?

 

MILES: Evelyn, you’re supposed to merely suggest and EXUDE stress and reluctance, you can’t just say it!
 

EVELYN: How does that make any sense? When I am showing a house, I don’t merely suggest and exude that it’s a good price and a safe neighborhood, I say it!

 

MILES: Evelyn. No offense, but there’s a reason you think like that.

 

EVELYN: Fine. You’re the director, teach me how to suggest and exude.

 

MILES: Alright. We’ll try this again. (Clears throat) Do you think Ryan Donahue killed Ashton Delay?

 

EVELYN: Miles!

 

MILES: What?!

 

EVELYN: We can’t do that, we will be sued!

 

MILES: Fine, fine! Let’s skip this for now and do the reenactment. Do you know any emo-looking type actors?

 

(Evelyn stares at Miles. Cut to Rob standing in front of his pool, chewing a ball of nicotine gum arduously. He hears a notification on his phone and checks it excitedly)

 

ROB: IMOGEN! COME OUT HERE!

 

(Imogen walks into the backyard, Rob turns to her)

 

IMOGEN: Yes?

 

ROB: Someone finally paid! They want me to say- (Rob opens the request) “Rob, lower your price-“ (Rob puts his phone away) It’s you.

 

IMOGEN: You’re not gonna make partner if you don’t lower that price.

 

(Rob grits his teeth, but gives in. He takes out his phone and starts typing)

 

ROB: Fine, we’ll take it down to $250.

 

IMOGEN: Good. My God. Now, get back to work, you’ve missed, probably fifty work e-mails just waiting around.

 

(Rob nods and follows Imogen inside. Cut to Rob sitting in his home office, on a Zoom call with the screenwriter Joss Payne)

 

JOSS: My writing partner and I are really excited for this project, we see it as-

 

ROB: Uh-huh.

 

(Rob’s phone goes off with a Cameo request- “Do a birthday message for my HAWT friend!!”)

 

JOSS: Like Crazy, Stupid Love meets Crazy Rich Asians.

 

ROB: Right…

 

(Rob notices a new Cameo notification on his phone- “Do my friend’s Virtual Bar Mitzvah! L’chaim!”)

 

JOSS: We call it “Crazy Stupid Asians”, and that name is non-negotiable-

 

ROB: Gotcha, gotcha.

 

(Rob is fully staring at his phone now- new cameo request reads “My friend had a miscarriage, cheer her up!”)

 

JOSS: I wouldn’t worry about it, my writing partner’s late stepdad is half-Asian. So-

 

ROB: For sure, for sure.

 

(Multiple requests for weddings, birthdays and pep talks all pop up at once)

 

JOSS: It’s basically about a few dumb Asians, which is kind of funny, because they’re usually smart.

 

ROB: Right…

 

JOSS: We want Allison Brie for the lead-

 

ROB: You know what, Joss? Can we push this meeting? My wife just came in and told me the fire alarm’s going off in our house, so, I gotta go.

 

JOSS: I don’t hear a fire alarm- also, she didn’t just come in-

 

ROB: See ya, dude, bye. (Rob exits the Zoom and grabs his phone and opens a Birthday request. Cut to an iPhone video of Rob in his home office) Hi, Julia, it’s Rob Altmire from Beauty and the BEASTliest, as well as Penis Envy, and you know what I envy? I envy you. Stephanie told me it’s your 21st birthday, and I’m sorry you can’t hit the bars, but here- (Rob takes out a twenty dollar bill) I’m gonna mail this to you, you can use it to buy yourself a case of beer. (Cut to an iPhone video of Rob in front of his pool) Hey, Isaac, I hear it’s your bar mitzvah, and while I’m not a Jew myself, I know many here in the industry and I can get you an internship- I know you’re looking to be an engineer, but still, you’re a Jew who lives in Hollywood, HMU. (Cut to Rob recording a video in the bathroom, with Imogen doing her make-up in the mirror behind him) Hey Diego, sorry your dad went to jail, but I’m glad you’re a fan of my work- thought I’d hit ya with my catchphrase from “Penis Envy”- WOWZA, that’s a big ‘un!

 

IMOGEN: Are you sexually harassing Diego?

 

ROB: No, Imogen, please, I’m just giving the fans what they want- and paid for.

 

IMOGEN: I have that audition in a few minutes, Rob, so just, leave me be for now, okay?

 

ROB: Alright- (Rob walks out of the bathroom) she’s clearly on edge. Sorry you had to see that. (Cut to Rob sitting in his car filming himself on his iPhone) What’s up, Sarah? I heard you had to delay your wedding, sorry to hear that. Once you do have it, I’ll be happy to give you a toast- (Rob raises a champagne flute full of apple juice) for $250, that is. (Cut to Rob standing in his front yard, shooting an iPhone video) Sorry you lost your home, Mitch, but just know, if you ever leave Florida and find yourself in LA, you have a room right here. (Rob points to his mansion) That’s a time-limited offer, though. (Cut to Rob sitting on the couch, with bloodshot eyes, late that night, shooting a video on his iPhone) Hi, George, this is- (Rob yawns) Robert Altmire. I heard it was the day of your cousin’s bris. Try to talk him out of it, it sounds dangerous-

 

(Imogen comes into frame)

 

IMOGEN: Rob, it’s time to go to bed.

 

ROB: I’M ALMOST DONE!
 

IMOGEN: ROB!

 

(Imogen grabs Rob and tries to drag him off the couch)

 

ROB: NO!!! I HAVE A BUNCH MORE, I LOWERED THE PRICE TO $45!!!

 

IMOGEN: IT’S TIME FOR BED, ROBERT!!! DON’T KEEP THE SAND MAN WAITING!!!

 

(Cut to Stone Productions’ content meeting, over Zoom. Everyone in the company is present, minus the interns and Alec. Rob looks sleep deprived)

 

WHITNEY: Alright, moving on, “Crazy, Stupid Asians”, what’d you think, Rob?

 

(Rob yawns)

 

ROB: I didn’t get to this one.

 

WHITNEY: What about “The Latchkey Chef”?

 

ROB: I’ll get to it this weekend.

 

WHITNEY: …Okay, what about “The Last Sioux Chef”?

 

ROB: That’s a different script? I didn’t get to it.

 

WHITNEY: Robert, what did you get to?

 

ROB: I GOT TO making thousands of dollars for this company- $10,290 specifically. What’d you all do?!

 

MILES: I made $11,000.

 

ROB: What?!

 

MILES: Yeah, plus, Evelyn and I are developing a documentary for Stone Productions. Details will be mailed to everyone in a suspicious envelope.

 

ROB: How did you-!?

 

WHITNEY: See? He managed to not only make money from Cameo but do his job at the same time. How novel!

 

ROB: Wha- he doesn’t even work here, technically!
 

MILES: My tax returns say I’m a consultant/contractor/advisor/Cayman Islands Shell Company, but, regardless, I tend to business.

 

WHITNEY: Were you able to read your scripts, Luther?

 

LUTHER: I don’t want to embarrass Rob, of course, but…yeah. Plus, I’m making a play for Bonnie Backlash.

 

WHITNEY: Would she be interested? We didn’t leave on great terms.

 

LUTHER: I’ll get her there. She’s having a self-image issue, I think we can help her with.

 

WHITNEY: You wouldn’t know anything about that, right, Rob?

 

ROB: Please, everyone stop talking. I’m gonna…

 

(Rob mutes himself and turns off his camera. Everyone pauses)

 

WHITNEY: Well, alright. McKenzie, did you read “

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, I did- should we check on him?

 

WHITNEY: No, just, let him have his mental breakdown.

 

MCKENZIE: This is like, the equivalent of if he hid under the table during an in-person meeting.

 

LUTHER: Hey, Evelyn’s done it.

 

EVELYN: I have.

 

WHITNEY: He’ll be fine. Just don’t bring up how much money you made on Cameo.

 

(Cut to Rob sitting on his couch, with bloodshot eyes, filming a video)

 

ROB: Dan…happy retirement…hope you enjoyed being an ICE agent… (Cut to a new video. Rob is nodding off as he’s recording) …Jack…I heard you got acquitted… (Rob falls asleep but pops back up) I’m glad that lying bitch was exposed… (Cut to a new video. Rob is lying on the couch this time, barely awake) …Mike…Garcia…I heard you’ve been feeling down…I just want you to know…I support you. (Cut to Rob asleep on the couch, recording a video. He’s only mumbling) …Congrats…on making Grand Wizard…I’ve heard D&D is fun…

 

(Cut to Bonnie standing in her kitchen, pouring a glass of red wine for herself. She fills it all the way to the top. She takes a big gulp and belches. She walks toward the living room, but then her doorbell goes off. She puts her wine down and walks toward the door. She looks through the peephole and sees Luther wearing a mask standing there)

 

BONNIE: One second.

 

(Bonnie grabs a mask from her pocket and puts it on. Bonnie opens the door)

 

LUTHER: …Hi.

 

BONNIE: Did you join the census bureau or something? Or the IRS? I have dependents, they’re just all out of town right now.

 

LUTHER: Nah, I just think I can help you. Can we talk in your backyard?

 

(Bonnie shrugs and nods)

 

BONNIE: Meet you back there.

 

(Bonnie closes the door, and Luther heads around back. Cut to Luther and Bonnie sitting in her small, overgrown backyard on some shitty lawn chairs, about six feet away from one another)

 

LUTHER: I don’t know if you heard, but shortly after our offices closed, Stone Productions set up a talent management division, and put me in charge of it.

 

BONNIE: Oh yeah, it was all over the trades. Nobody could shut up about it.

 

LUTHER: Don’t be an asshole. Okay? I’m trying to help.

 

BONNIE: By trying to drag me back into Whitney’s web? Why would I wanna do that?

 

LUTHER: Whitney’s not gonna be managing your career. I will be. And you need help. I checked out your OnlyFans, for research purposes.

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I bet.

 

LUTHER: It has essentially the same fanbase as your Twitch. Horny straight dudes, and a handful of horny gay women.

 

BONNIE: Congrats. I’ll file that under “shit I already know”.

 

LUTHER: But. Your Instagram is a different story. Sure, there’s a ton of thirsty sixteen-year-old dudes, but there’s an almost equal proportion of straight young women.

 

BONNIE: How do you know the sexual orientations of all these people?

 

LUTHER: Well, I utilized a sophisticated algorithm that… (Bonnie narrows her eyes. Luther shrugs) you can tell.

 

(Bonnie sighs)

 

BONNIE: So, what do you propose?

 

(Luther leans forward)

 

LUTHER: Your Instagram stories are angry as hell, and people see it as a release. You’re angry about the same things they’re angry about. So they draw satisfaction from your stories. You have to lean into that, make it your brand. Maybe drop “Bonnie Backlash” altogether.

 

BONNIE: …So, I’m still making a career of giving people a release.

 

LUTHER: My father used to say, “all entertainment is porn”.

 

(Bonnie squints)

 

BONNIE: Did he really?

 

LUTHER: …No, that wouldn’t make any sense, he was a criminal, not an entertainer, but… somebody probably said that at some point.

 

(Bonnie smirks and looks past Luther)

 

BONNIE: …I came up with that name. For the past nine years, it’s been who I am. You know my real name is “Marla Feck”.

 

(Luther recoils)

 

LUTHER: Ugh.

 

BONNIE: I know!

 

LUTHER: …You’re not abandoning it, just keeping it on the backburner. That way you can expand your fanbase beyond just Noels- I mean, horny men. (Bonnie nods) Think about it and let me know.

 

(Luther stands up, bows a little bit and walks off)

 

BONNIE: Did you just bow?

 

(Luther turns to her)

 

LUTHER: Sorry, I’m still not used to avoiding handshakes.

 

BONNIE: It’s been like, six months.

 

(Cut to Luther walking into his Santa Monica apartment. He walks in on Miles with a camera trained on Evelyn Prost, who’s wearing a light blue suit jacket, black pants and heels)

 

LUTHER: Oh, are you pretending to be a detective now?

 

EVELYN: No, we abandoned the Ashton Delay subject, due to the obvious legal pitfalls.

 

MILES: I told Evelyn, I have a good lawyer, but she won’t listen.

 

EVELYN: He’s lost every case he’s ever been involved in.

 

MILES: He threw those cases! The Armenian mafia was betting on the outcomes.

 

LUTHER: Seems like that bolsters her point.

 

EVELYN: Anyway, now it’s a documentary about my storied real estate career. So, if you’ll excuse us, we have a showing in Glendale.

 

(Awkward silence)

 

LUTHER: …Oh! You’re excused.

 

EVELYN: Thank you.

 

(Miles follows Evelyn out of the apartment with the camera. Luther rolls her eyes and collapses onto the couch. Cut to Evelyn, wearing a mask, standing in front of a small house in Glendale. An Armenian couple, both wearing masks, walk up to Evelyn. Miles is filming the two, which throws off the couple)

 

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Uhh, hello, Evelyn, what’s the deal with-?

 

EVELYN: Him? Pay him no mind, Mr. Grothman is filming a documentary about the Los Angeles real estate market, amidst the pandemic. Mr. and Mrs. Hovsepian, it’s so good to see you again.

 

MRS. HOVSEPIAN: Of course, you too.

 

MILES: Sorry, cut. (Miles puts his camera down) Can we do that again? We don’t need all the questions and explanations, so let’s just get it clean.

 

EVELYN: Does that work with you, Anna? Erik?

 

(Erik shrugs)

 

ERIK: I guess.

 

ANNA: Sure.

 

MILES: Great, from the top.

 

(Miles gets back behind his camera. Evelyn waves her hand, imploring the two to back away, which they do, though clearly very perplexed. Cut to Evelyn leading Erik and Anna into the empty bedroom of this modest, craftsman home, followed by Miles with his camera)

 

EVELYN: Personally, I appreciate this bedroom due to its immense practicality. You can fit a good-sized queen bed right here, and have room for a desk at the end, it almost takes the place of a home office. What do you guys do?

 

ERIK: Uh, I work at TSA-

 

ANNA: And I work at an imaging center in Beverly Hills.

 

EVELYN: You guys sure like looking through things.

 

(Anna and Erik look at each other, perplexed)

 

ERIK: Yeah-

 

MILES: Sorry. (Miles lowers his camera) Me again. Do you guys mind saying that you own a butchery together?

 

ANNA: Excuse me?

 

MILES: I just think, it’ll play better if you have an immigrant-owned small business-

 

ERIK: Play better? I thought this was a documentary?

 

ANNA: Also, we’re both second generation Armenian immigrants.

 

MILES: Come on, guys, this isn’t a UCLA course in Documentary Ethics, would you mind- (Miles takes out a box of tissues) crying about losing your son in the war?

 

ERIK: Okay, we’re leaving.

 

(Erik and Anna start leaving)

 

ANNA: What war?!

 

(Erik and Anna walk out of the bedroom)

 

EVELYN: No! Don’t go, Miles will  be quiet-

 

(Erik and Anna slam the door behind them as they exit the building. Miles puts his camera down. Evelyn sighs and glares at Miles)

 

EVELYN: I don’t like how that was handled.

 

MILES: I’m sorry if I don’t find a middle-class Armenian-American couple fascinating, I wanted to add that Grothman spice!

 

EVELYN: You mean those bootleg deodorants you used to hock online?

 

MILES: No, not that.

 

EVELYN: So, you’re referring to the bootleg paprika you used to hock online?

 

MILES: Exactly! That GROTHMAN SPICE! For Christ’s sake- speaking of, are you in the mood for Peruvian food?

 

(Evelyn shrugs)

 

EVELYN: I suppose… why, though?

 

MILES: Filipe’s in Glendale is one of the only restaurants I still sell Grothman Spice to.

 

EVELYN: I suppose I can try it. I’ve never had the pleasure.

 

MILES: Then, let’s do it! (Miles and Evelyn walk toward the front door) You haven’t read any lawsuit briefs about it, have you?

 

EVELYN: No, I’ve merely read the articles.

 

MILES: Okay, good.

 

(Evelyn pulls up to Filipe’s Peruvian Restaurant in her car, and they get out and walk in. Inside, a masked Peruvian man named Julio is manning cash register, which has a plastic shield in front of it. The dining room is of course, closed)

 

JULIO: Bienvenidos, can I- oh my Goodness, Miles, is that you?

 

MILES: You’re damn right- I told you I was a bit of a star around here, Evelyn.

 

EVELYN: Yes, I can see that.

 

JULIO: What would you like? It’s on the house.

 

MILES: Just know that they put French fries in random-ass things.

 

EVELYN: I don’t mind that idea, actually. I would like a French fry taco.

 

JULIO: Um…sure, I suppose we can do that.

 

MILES: Let me look at this menu, it’s been a while. (Miles scans the menu, and stops on a dish called “anticucho”) What is this “anticucho”? Does that hail from the dark depths of the Peruvian Amazon?

 

JULIO: Uhh, no, that’s a skewered meat dish, with beef heart and a potato at the end-

 

MILES: Did the tribes of the Peruvian Amazon come up with it, though? It’s very unique and exotic.

 

JULIO: It’s literally almost the exact same as a shish kebab.

 

EVELYN: Do your people hail from the Peruvian Amazon, though?

 

JULIO: No, ma’am, the tribes of the Peruvian Amazon are very insular and remote.

 

MILES: This is true, I bet they don’t even know about… coronavirus…

 

JULIO: …Yeah, they don’t even know about Trump or even the existence of the United States of America, most of them.

 

(Miles turns to Evelyn)

 

MILES: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

 

EVELYN: Rarely. With anyone.

 

MILES: We’ll take two anti-coochies to go.

 

JULIO: Anticucho.

 

EVELYN: Also, French fry taco.

 

JULIO: Right away.

 

(Miles hands Julio his credit card. Cut to Miles and Evelyn in the car. Evelyn is eating a French fry taco while Miles is holding an anticucho)

 

MILES: Shall we pitch this to Whitney?

 

EVELYN: Let us “pitch it to the bitch”.

 

MILES: Good girl.

 

(Miles starts up the car and drives off. Cut to Rob in the living room, working on his laptop, with the Republican National Convention playing on TV. Imogen is sitting on a LA-Z Boy reading on her iPad. Eric Trump is speaking on TV)

 

ERIC TRUMP: You are making America proud again. And yes, together with the forgotten man and woman, who are finally forgotten no more, you are making America great again. Let’s make Uncle Robert very proud this week. Let’s go get another four years. I love you, very much. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

 

(Eric walks off stage, and they transition to a video featuring Congressman Mike Garcia in front of a log cabin)

 

CONGRESSMAN GARCIA: I’m here in front of the log cabin in Simi Valley, where I was born. The radical left has taken over California. Governor Newsom stirs his cage-free, vegan coffee with a hammer and sickle. But the Republican Party of California has been able to kick out one of these Marxists, Katie Hill, and replace her with me, a strong, America First conservative. In November, we need to keep out her hand-picked replacement Christy Smith, and make sure President Trump has a strong ally representing the Simi Valley in Congress, for his inevitable second term. Even many in Hollywood are starting to agree.

 

(Cut to Jon Voight sitting in his living room, setting fire to a mask)

 

JON: Mike Garcia is what liberal-communist California needs. (Jon lights a cigar with the flaming mask) While we fight the China virus, and beyond.  (Jon throws the mask down and stomps it out) The communists invented the fake China virus, don’t let them be the ones responsible for defeating it. Vote for Mike Garcia.

 

(Cut to Stephen Baldwin hunched over a toilet in his bathroom. He turns to the camera)

 

STEPHEN: During the 2016 campaign I had the honor of serving as Mr. Trump’s royal tester. Spent a lot of time worshipping the porcelain throne, here. (Stephen pats the toilet) It was worth every minute. We need President Trump in the White House for another four years. Or else, the country will go down this thing!

 

(Stephen flushes the toilet and smiles. Cut to Rob Altmire lying on the couch, barely awake- this is one of his Cameo videos from before. Rob and Imogen immediately look up, in shock)

 

ROB: …Mike…Garcia… (Cut) …I just want you to know…I support you.

 

ROB: WHAT THE FUCK!?

 

(Rob stands up. Imogen stands up)

 

IMOGEN: How did they do that?! And why?!

 

(Cut back to Mike Garcia)

 

CONGRESSMAN GARCIA: There you have it. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood, hoping to Make America Great Again. Let’s win this together, for the sake of all the storefronts that have suffered so immensely these past few months.

 

(The video fades out, and Rob turns off the TV)

 

IMOGEN: Was that one of those deepfakes?!

 

ROB: No, they must’ve…requested it!

 

IMOGEN: WHY’D YOU DO IT, THEN?!

 

ROB: You saw me! I was almost asleep, I probably barely knew what I was saying!

 

IMOGEN: Well, shit, now people are gonna think you’re a Republican! All because you’re OBSESSED WITH THIS CAMEO SHIT!
 

ROB: I’M OBSESSED?! YOU’RE OBSESSED! I’M OBSESSED!

 

IMOGEN: YES! YOU’RE OBSESSED!
 

ROB: I’m obsessed, yes. Shit! Now I’ve endorsed both campaigns. I have to call the Smith campaign, get ahead of this. (Rob takes out his phone and sits down. Imogen follows suit) Let me just straighten this out. (Rob dials a number and puts the phone to his ear) Hello? Yes, this is Rob Altmire, may I speak with Assemblywoman Smith, please? Yes, I’ll hold. (To Imogen) Okay, so far, so good. (Imogen nods) …Yes? Oh? She has a message for me? (Rob recoils from the phone) …Are you sure that was her message? You didn’t just stub your toe on a…sharp spike? (Rob puts the phone down) She hung up.

 

IMOGEN: What was the message?

 

ROB: …They said if I ever speak to them again, I’ll wind up with a campaign pen shoved up my dick hole.

 

(Imogen nods)

 

IMOGEN: About what I expected.

 

ROB: Yeah. Now if you’ll excuse me. (Rob takes out his phone) I have about forty missed calls.

 

(Rob gets up and leaves the room)

 

IMOGEN: That tracks.

 

(Cut to Bonnie the next morning at a Starbucks. She comes in with a mask, and walks over to the masked barista, a teen boy of about 19, standing behind a plastic screen)

 

BONNIE: Hey, I’ll have a medium iced coffee.

 

(The barista puts in the order)

 

BARISTA: Any cream or sugar?

 

BONNIE: Yes, please.

 

(The barista writes something on a plastic Starbucks cup)

 

BARISTA: That’ll be $3.50.

 

BONNIE: Wait, don’t you need my name?

 

BARISTA: I already know it.

 

(The barista nods and moves to start making coffee. Bonnie squints and looks over toward a group of three ten boys, who are giggling in the corner)

 

BONNIE: The fuck are you giggling at?

 

TEEN BOY: Nothing, it’s just that, last time I saw you, you were, busy.

 

(They all start stifling laughter)

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I remember, I think your dad was fucking me. He told me it was a pleasant escape from having to deal with your stupid ass.

 

TEEN BOY: I think your coffee is ready.

 

(Bonnie looks over and sees that her iced coffee is on the counter, labeled “Bonnie Backsplash”. Anger grows in her eyes, as one of the teens pulls out a phone to record. Bonnie grabs the coffee and turns to the counter, where the barista is waving at her. She turns back to them)

 

BONNIE: Oh, is the barista one of your creepy friends?

 

TEEN BOY 2: I guess you should fuck him and find out. You’re used to banging creeps, aren’t you?

 

(They all laugh again. Bonnie smiles deviously)

 

BONNIE: Bonnie Backsplash, huh? How’s this for backsplash?

 

(Bonnie uncaps her iced coffee and throws it in their faces- to a loud exclamation from them)

 

TEEN BOY 3: WHAT THE FUCK?!

 

TEEN BOY: CRAZY BITCH!
 

BARISTA: GET OUT!

 

BONNIE: Go ahead, post it, if your phone still works. Tell all your future law firm intern friends what happens when you fuck with me.

 

(Bonnie marches out of the Starbucks, as the teens stand there, in shock. Cut to Bonnie emerging from the Starbucks and getting in her car. She takes out her phone and calls Luther. Cut to Luther, who is emerging from the bathroom with a towel around his waist and wet hair. He can hear his phone ringing in his bedroom. He runs in there and picks it up. Intercut between him and Bonnie)

 

LUTHER: Yeah?

 

BONNIE: I’m in.

 

LUTHER: Amazing. I won’t let you down.

 

BONNIE: I may need a PR revamp in a few minutes, so you better not.

 

LUTHER: Huh?

 

BONNIE: I have a new name, for Twitch.

 

LUTHER: What’s that?

 

BONNIE: Bonnie Bitchslap.

 

(Luther nods)

 

LUTHER: I can work with that.

 

BONNIE: …Okay. Again, I may also need a lawyer.

 

LUTHER: What did you do?

 

BONNIE: You’ll see.

 

(Bonnie hangs up. Luther looks at his phone with perplexity and throws it aside. Cut to Luther, Evelyn, Miles, Rob, McKenzie, Whitney and Miles in a Zoom meeting the next day)

 

EVELYN: So, Miles Grothman and I have an announcement-

 

(Evelyn grabs Miles’ hand and clutches it)

 

WHITNEY: You guys getting married?

 

LUTHER: I would’ve liked advanced notice.

 

MILES: No, gross.

 

(Miles pulls his hand away)

 

EVELYN: I try to exhibit affection once, and see what happens?

 

MILES: Anyway, we have an idea for a documentary that’ll be safe to film during COVID-19. We’ll be going to the deep, dark depths of the Peruvian Amazon, to the lost tribes of the jungle, and filming them, documenting their habits, their cuisine, their rituals, and the amount of human sacrifices they make per week.

 

MCKENZIE: Hold up. Your idea to shoot a documentary that’s “safe for COVID” is to make contact with an uncontacted tribe, thereby potentially bringing diseases they have no immunity for?!

 

EVELYN: Miles and his crew will of course be tested before and during the trip, and in addition to masks, they will be filming the behavior of the tribes from the river, quite far away.

 

WHITNEY: Then what’s the point? If you can’t even get up close?

 

MILES: Whitney, this is about the JOURNEY, not about the tribes! I mean, it’s about them too, but if you think about it, every documentary is about the “making of” that documentary.

 

MCKENZIE: What about 13th?

 

MILES: I haven’t seen very many documentaries, but I guarantee that one is too!

 

(Rob sighs heavily)

 

EVELYN: Miles will be sailing down the river of the Peruvian Amazon, looking for lost tribes, it’s an adventure! Far away from COVID, just one man on an adventure.

 

MCKENZIE: But you’re exoticizing and exploiting a foreign tribe-

 

WHITNEY: McKenzie, hold up. (McKenzie stops and furrows her brow) Miles, my answer is not no… (Miles sighs) but, yes.

 

MCKENZIE: Why would you frame it like that?!

 

MILES: Oh! Whitney, you won’t regret this, I swear to ya! You’ll be over-the-moon with the final product.

 

WHITNEY: As long as we see a return on investment. Please remember to be culturally sensitive, I know that’s not your strong suit.

 

MILES: I’ll be sure to use their preferred pronouns, certainly.

 

MCKENZIE: …What?

 

EVELYN: Luther? Who’d you get?

 

LUTHER: I just signed Bonnie Backlash- oh, I’m sorry, I mean, Bonnie Bitchslap.

 

WHITNEY: No, it’s, uh, Bonnie Backlash I believe.

 

LUTHER: No, I was… not anymore, it’s- she changed it to Bonnie Bitchslap. For gaming purposes anyway.

 

ROB: Great, we signed a Twitch streamer. Let’s not get too ambitious and shoot for a podcaster next time.

 

WHITNEY: Who’d you get, Rob?

 

ROB: I GOT $25,000 FOR THIS COMPANY! That means I win, right?!

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, I only got like, 500 bucks. I was contestant on a show that ran for a couple episodes, so.

 

ROB: Miles, how much did you get, you little shit?!

 

MILES: Around 13,000, I kind of stopped focusing on it, I don’t know.

 

ROB: YES! (Rob stands up and pumps his fist) I WIN!

 

WHITNEY: OF COURSE YOU WIN! (Rob sits down) You lost your goddamn mind, barely slept, barely ate, barely drank, just recorded videos for people! Congratulations, you’re a partner again!

 

ROB: Thank you. I’ll take it from here-

 

(Ron takes a speech out of his pocket and unfolds it)

 

WHITNEY: No, Robert, I will. You won this contest, but at what cost? Have you made any progress on finding a distributor for Alien AIDs and Human Slaves?!

 

(Rob gives a start)

 

ROB: Well. Not exactly-

 

WHITNEY: NO! You haven’t. You haven’t read any scripts, you haven’t tended to your regular duties because of this constant, never-ending ego trip! Although you apparently had time to write a victory speech! So, tell me, does winning feel good?

 

(Rob looks down)

 

ROB: …I mostly just feel tired and sick.

 

WHITNEY: Exactly. Everybody but Rob, please, log out of the meeting. (Everybody but Rob quickly complies. Rob shifts uncomfortably in his chair) Now that you’re a partner again, you need to get your shit together. We’ve been working with one another for well over two years, and your hunger for attention has never gone away. So, jack up the price on your cameo and get the fuck to work. I’m lining up meetings with distributors and you better find a home for Alien AIDs and Human Slaves. Say goodbye to your evening too, because I want you to read all the scripts you’ve neglected by tomorrow afternoon.

 

ROB: Doesn’t sound like much of a partnership, Whitney.

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: …I know, but. You know you have to do this, right?

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: Of course. This company isn’t all about me, I’m part of a community working for a common goal.

 

WHITNEY: Exactly. Good. Surprisingly well said.

 

ROB: You haven’t brought up the RNC thing?

 

WHITNEY: What RNC thing? I’ve been avoiding it like the plague.

 

ROB: …Never mind, then.

 

(Rob leaves the meeting. Cut to Rob in his home office, on a Zoom meeting with a short-haired, middle-aged man in a suit)

 

MR. GARAMENDI: So, aliens enslave humans, and sexually abuse them?

 

ROB: It’s total shlock, Mr. Garamendi, but it’s the fun kind of schlock that you gather with your friends to watch on a bad movie night. I think it’ll do well amongst that crowd.

 

MR. GARAMENDI: Well, I do have a lot of friends. Would you like to meet them?

 

(Rob shrugs)

 

ROB: …Sure, of course. Someday.

 

(Cut to later that night, Rob is sitting in his office, putting a script aside and yawning. Imogen comes in)

 

IMOGEN: The President just got done speaking, so I think I’m gonna drink a liter of cough syrup and pass out to forget it. Are you gonna join?

 

ROB: No, I still have one more script to read. Please fall asleep in a lovely manner, so I can admire you when I come in. Leave your blanket off, so I can drape it over you.

 

IMOGEN: No, it gets cold in there.

 

ROB: Fine, be selfish.

 

(Imogen rolls her eyes and leaves)

 

IMOGEN: Love you.

 

ROB: Love you, too. (Rob picks up the final script for the night. It reads “Return To Tomorrow- Written by Stephen Garamendi. Based on the book ‘Return to Tomorrow’ by L. Ron Hubbard”) Garamendi? Isn’t he….?

 

(Rob opens the script and starts reading. Time lapse through the next two hours. Rob finishes the script and puts it aside. He takes out his phone and brings up Garamendi’s number. He calls it)

 

STEPHEN: (On phone) Hello?

 

ROB: Hi, Stephen, I didn’t even know you sent us a script of yours, but I just read it, and it’s good! Considering what we’re doing with Alien AIDs, its very on-brand for us right now.

 

STEPHEN: (On phone) I guess you are ready to meet my friends, then…

 

(Cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: September 02, 2020

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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